Window replacement can be one of the best home improvement projects you can make. It not only upgrades the style of a home but adds value by increasing your house’s energy efficiency. Long term savings through energy reduction leads to a higher home value. Also, it reduces drafts, offers sound reduction, and generally makes a home feel more comfortable, warm and inviting.
But window replacement can also be costly. And many homeowners wonder if it may be worth attempting to replace their windows themselves. While window replacement can be a do-it-yourself project, it is important to keep in mind the pros and cons of doing the installation yourself:
- Saves you some money form the labor charges of installation.
- Possibly more flexible with the schedule
- Pride of being able to say you “did it myself.”
- Added risk of making a mistake.
- Delays if encountering a problem like unexpected material or size.
- Possibility of being stuck with an open-air window for days until a carpentry problem is fixed.
- Specialized tools, that you don’t have, may be needed.
- Potential for higher costs than using an installer, that could come from tool rental, making mistakes, or having to hire someone mid-way after encountering a problem.
As you can see, unless you are fairly experienced at carpentry projects, it is likely better to hire a window installation company, like this one, Delco serving in Toronto, Canada.
If you are going to go the route of installing a window yourself, here are some tools and materials you will need (1):
- Screw gun
- Oscillating multi-tool
- Caulking and caulking gun
- Possibly matching paint
- Wood shims and filler pieces
Plan on dedicating half of a day at leas to completing the project, especially if you have never done it before. If the new window is slightly larger than the older window, which is a common issue if you are replacing with off-the-shelf vinyl windows that are at most home-improvement stores (due to vinyl window framing being thicker than older frames), then be prepared to have to make minor adjustments to the window opening.
Here are the steps (assuming you have already measured and purchased the same-size replacement window)
- Removal of the exterior trim
- Cutting / trimming wood material slightly larger than the window
- Using a crowbar, popping out the frame at where the base of the frame is embedded in the wood material.
- Carefully remeasuring and testing the opening for the new window
- Making additional cutting and adjustments as needed
- Placing in the new window in the opening
- Levelling and trimming the flange if needed.
- Using shims or wood fill pieces if needed for gaps or levelling.
- Screwing in the flange (or directly inside the frame in hung and sliding windows if needed) the window into the wood opening.
- Reinstalling the exterior trim
- Caulking both inside and outside
These steps can be laborious and do require focus on detail at certain stages. It helps to have a 2nd person help lift and hold in the window during the time you are levelling and screwing it in.
If all of this sounds daunting, you are in the right place to hire a professional window installation company to get the job done and do it quickly. Many window installers can come as a team and install multiple windows throughout your house in less than a day.
For Hiring it out, here are some points to be aware of:
- Look for companies that specialize in installing windows and doors. They are a related product, that often have similar challenges.
- Ovoid just hiring an individual handyman, unless they have had much experience at window replacement.
- Check online customer reviews and look for companies that have many real and detailed positive reviews over the years.
- Choose a company that has been in business in your local area for longer than 10 years. They will have a long-time reputation to protect and will take care of your project with attention and care.
- Call them. Visit them. Do they have a showroom? Physical presence, with their own installation teams, all work together to ensure that they are capable of doing your project right.
- Do they guarantee their work? Do their products come with parts and labor warranty? Does the warranty transfer if you were to sell your house?
Once you have narrowed down the list and identified a window installer you are going to work with, that doesn’t mean your done. Follow up with them, and ask about financing, who will show up, and decide with them what window styles you will go with. Often, window installers prefer you to go with the window brands that they carry, in order to gain all the benefits of their product and service warranties.
One other thing, while it may seem nice to let them show up, and then you come back to your home with new windows, it is better that someone from your household is there that day, during the entire time they are doing the work. If problems like sizing, or previous construction faults are encountered, you can see the issue in person, and work with them to make quick necessary decisions that can solve it, rather than having them come back to finish a later day. Also, it will give you peace of mind knowing that someone is present, just in case.
Overall, as you can see, while window replacement can be done yourself, it is likely a job better suited for professionals with the tools and experience to fix any issues that may be encountered during the removal and swapping out of your old window. And with their warranty and service, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that it was done right, and any issues can be fixed early. The real question you should be asking, is “When is the earliest I can get my windows replaced?”